2020 Billboard Music Awards: Garth Brooks to receive Icon Award

February 26, 2020

Garth Brooks (Photo courtesy of Blue Rose)

The following is a press release from Dick Clark Productions and NBC:

Dick Clark Productions and NBC announced today that Garth Brooks will receive the coveted ICON Award at the “2020 Billboard Music Awards.” The 19-time Billboard Music Award winner, who joins only eight other artists to ever receive the honor, will also take the stage for a highly anticipated performance.

A true legend, Brooks is the first and only artist in history to achieve eight diamond-certified albums at over 10 million album sales each. He remains the #1-selling solo artist in U.S. history, certified by the RIAA with more than 156 million album sales.

The “2020 Billboard Music Awards” will broadcast live from Las Vegas on Wednesday, April 29 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC and will feature this year’s hottest musical acts, unexpected collaborations and buzzworthy moments.

Brooks has earned nine No. 1 albums on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart (the most of any country artist), with chart-toppers in the ’90s, ’00s and ’10s. Seven of them debuted at No. 1. Brooks also claimed 17 No. 1s on the Top Country Albums chart and 89 hits on the Hot Country Songs chart including 19 No. 1s. Among those leaders: “Friends in Low Places,” “The Thunder Rolls,” “Ain’t Going Down (Til the Sun Comes Up),” “Longneck Bottle” and “More Than a Memory.”

In January, Billboard announced that Brooks became the first artist to have appeared on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart in the ‘80s, ‘90s, ‘00s, ‘10s and ‘20s. Brooks first appeared on the chart after the release of his first album, Garth Brooks. Its first single, “Much Too Young (to Feel This Damn Old),” entered the chart in 1989 at No. 94 (when the ranking ran 100 positions deep). The track peaked at No. 8 that July, becoming Brooks’ first of 36 top 10s. Now, in the ’20s, he makes another appearance on the Hot Country Songs chart thanks to his collaborative track with Blake Shelton, “Dive Bar.” The single inspired a Dive Bar tour to dive bars in country music capitals around the U.S., which will continue its run through 2022.

In 2019, Brooks launched the Garth Brooks Stadium Tour, which has broken stadium attendance records at every stop so far and which Pollstar declared as the bestselling country music tour of the year. In 2017, Brooks finished the three-and-a-half-year long Garth Brooks World Tour with wife Trisha Yearwood. The tour sold over 6.3 million tickets, making it the biggest North American tour in history and the biggest American tour in the world.

Previous recipients of the ICON Award include Cher, Neil Diamond, Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey.

“Billboard Music Awards” nominees and winners are based on key fan interactions with music, including album and digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay, touring and social engagement, tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including Nielsen Music/MRC Data. The awards are based on the chart period of March 23, 2019 through March 14, 2020. Since 1940, the Billboard charts have been the go-to guide for ranking the popularity of artists, songs and albums, and are the ultimate measure of success in music.

The “2020 Billboard Music Awards” is produced by dick clark productions. Barry Adelman, Mark Bracco, Kelly Clarkson, Robert Deaton and Amy Thurlow are executive producers.

Tickets will go on sale to the public at 10:00 AM PST on Friday, February 28, 2020.  CLICK HERE to purchase.

For the latest news on the Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) visit www.billboardmusicawards.com and  www.billboard.com/bbma. For exclusive content and more, be sure to follow the BBMAs on social media and join the conversation by using the official hashtag for the show, #BBMAs.

Twitter: @BBMAs | FacebookFB.com/TheBBMAs | Instagram@bbmas
Snapchatthebbmas | TikTok: @bbmas | YouTube: youtube.com/bbmas

About Dick Clark Productions
Dick Clark Productions (DCP) is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming with the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” and the “Streamy Awards.” Weekly television programming includes “So You Think You Can Dance” from 19 Entertainment and DCP. DCP also owns one of the world’s most unique and extensive entertainment archive libraries with over 60 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances and legendary programming. DCP is a division of Valence Media, a diversified and integrated media company with divisions and strategic investments in television, film, live entertainment, digital media and publishing. For additional information, visit www.dickclark.com.

About Billboard
Billboard is the world’s most influential music media brand, built on its exclusive charts and unrivaled reporting on the latest music news, issues and trends. The Billboard charts define success in music and are the most complete and well-respected database of charts across all music genres. From the iconic Billboard magazine to Billboard.com, the ultimate global destination for music, to the industry’s most elite conference series and influencer events including the Power 100 and Women in Music and LatinFest+ – the Billboard brand has unmatched authority among fans, artists and the industry. The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group is one of the world’s leading entertainment news and music publishers, reaching more than 36 million people a month and garnering over 2 billion annual online views of video content. The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group is a division of Valence Media, a diversified global media company that includes dick clark productions, MRC Film, MRC Television, MRC Non-Fiction and MRC Data. The company has minority investments in A24, Fulwell 73 and T-Street.

2020 Billboard Music Awards: Kelly Clarkson returns as host

February 25, 2020

Kelly Clarkson (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

The following is a press release from Dick Clark Productions and NBC:

NBC and Dick Clark Productions announced today that Kelly Clarkson will return once again to host NBC’s three-hour live telecast of the “2020 Billboard Music Awards” on Wednesday, April 29 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. This will mark Clarkson’s third time hosting the hugely popular award show after receiving unanimous acclaim as host in 2018 and 2019.

The “2020 Billboard Music Awards” will be broadcast live from Las Vegas and feature the year’s hottest musical acts, unexpected collaborations and buzzworthy moments.

As host, Clarkson has helped create many iconic Billboard Music Awards moments, including unexpected cameos by surprise guests. Her opening performances, where she puts her own vocal spin on the year’s top hits, have become a can’t miss moment on the show and are widely anticipated by fans.

“I’m thrilled to be back with my Billboard family,” Clarkson said. “I love being part of an event that celebrates our greatest artists and entertains our fans. This a night of music that you won’t want to miss!”

Clarkson serves as a coach for season 18 of NBC’s multi-Emmy Award-winning musical competition series “The Voice” and hosts her own daytime program, “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” which was the fall season’s #1 new syndicated show. She is among the most popular artists of this era with total worldwide sales of more than 25 million albums and 40 million singles.

Clarkson is the recipient of an array of awards, including three Grammy Awards, four American Music Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music Awards and one Country Music Assn. Award. She has notched three #1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100, among 11 top 10’s and 27 total appearances. She has also tallied three #1 albums on the Billboard 200, among eight top 10’s in11 total appearances. Her versatility has also resulted in seven #1 singles on the Dance Club Songs chart; four on both the Pop Songs and Adult Pop Songs charts; three on Adult Contemporary; and one on Hot Country Songs.

To date in her career, she has drawn 61 billion in cumulative radio audience and 2.8 billion on-demand U.S. streams and sold 14.6 million albums in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

The “2019 Billboard Music Awards” averaged a 2.1 rating in adults 18-49 and 8.0 million viewers, according to “live plus same day” Nielsens, delivering NBC’s best in-season Wednesday in 18-49, excluding Olympics, since 2016. The awards telecast jumped +110% above NBC’s Wednesday season average in the 18-49 demo and was up +1.5 million persons in total viewers to top every Big 4 entertainment telecast over the prior seven weeks in 18-49.

“Billboard Music Awards” nominees and winners are based on key fan interactions with music, including album and digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay, touring and social engagement, tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including Nielsen Music/MRC Data. The awards are based on the chart period of March 23, 2019 through March 14, 2020. Since 1940, the Billboard charts have been the go-to guide for ranking the popularity of artists, songs and albums, and are the ultimate measure of success in music.

The “2020 Billboard Music Awards” is produced by dick clark productions. Barry Adelman, Mark Bracco, Kelly Clarkson, Robert Deaton and Amy Thurlow are executive producers.

For the latest news on the Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) visit www.billboardmusicawards.com and  www.billboard.com/bbma. For exclusive content and more, be sure to follow the BBMAs on social media and join the conversation by using the official hashtag for the show, #BBMAs.

Twitter: @BBMAs | FacebookFB.com/TheBBMAs | Instagram@bbmas
Snapchatthebbmas | TikTok: @bbmas | YouTube: youtube.com/bbmas
About Dick Clark Productions
Dick Clark Productions (DCP) is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming with the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” and the “Streamy Awards.” Weekly television programming includes “So You Think You Can Dance” from 19 Entertainment and DCP. DCP also owns one of the world’s most unique and extensive entertainment archive libraries with over 60 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances and legendary programming. DCP is a division of Valence Media, a diversified and integrated media company with divisions and strategic investments in television, film, live entertainment, digital media and publishing. For additional information, visit www.dickclark.com.

About Billboard
Billboard is the world’s most influential music media brand, built on its exclusive charts and unrivaled reporting on the latest music news, issues and trends. The Billboard charts define success in music and are the most complete and well-respected database of charts across all music genres. From the iconic Billboard magazine to Billboard.com, the ultimate global destination for music, to the industry’s most elite conference series and influencer events including the Power 100 and Women in Music and LatinFest+ – the Billboard brand has unmatched authority among fans, artists and the industry. The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group is one of the world’s leading entertainment news and music publishers, reaching more than 36 million people a month and garnering over 2 billion annual online views of video content. The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group is a division of Valence Media, a diversified global media company that includes dick clark productions, MRC Film, MRC Television, MRC Non-Fiction and MRC Data. The company has minority investments in A24, Fulwell 73 and T-Street.

Harvey Weinstein convicted of sex crimes, including rape

February 24, 2020

by Colleen McGregor

Harvey Weinstein at the Weinstein Company’s Pre-Academy Awards Dinner sponsored by Grey Goose at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on February 25, 2017. (Photo by Hagop Kalaidjian/BFA)

On February 25, 2020, in a New York City courtroom, disgraced entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein was found guilty on two of five possible counts involving two women: a first-degree criminal sexual act and a third-degree rape. He was found not guilty of the three most serious charges: two counts of predatory sexual assault and first-degree rape in the first degree on two women: Miriam Haley and Jessica Mann. The jury, consisting of seven men and five women, deliberated for nearly a week.

The trial began on January 6, 2020, after experiencing many delays. Weinstein, who is 67, did not testify at his trial. After the verdict was read, Weinstein was immediately taken to jail, where he will be held until his sentencing on March 11, 2020. He faces up to 29 years in prison.

Weinstein is also facing sexual-assault charges in Los Angeles, where he is accused of raping one woman and sexually assaulting another woman on two consecutive nights during Oscars week in 2013.

Weinstein was first arrested in May 2018,  when he turned himself into the New York Police Department. He was arrested and charged with rape and forced oral sex. According to the Associated Press, the rape charge was for an unidentified woman who claims that Weinstein raped her at a New York hotel room in 2013. The oral sex charge was for a 2004 incident in which former aspiring actress Lucia Evans claims that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him at his New York office.

In October 2018, the charge involving Evans was dismissed. According to CNN, Evans’ attorney Carrie Goldberg implied that the charge was dropped for political reasons because of a “feud between the NYPD and the DA’s office.” Goldberg added that the dropped charge “does speak to a system desperate in need of reform.”

A few famous actresses testified against Weinstein in his New York trial: Annabella Sciorra (who says that Weinstein raped her in her apartment in 1993 and 1994) and Rosie Perez, who testified that Sciorra told her about being raped shortly after the incident. Perez found out much later that Sciorra’s alleged rapist was Weinstein, but Perez did not go to police because Sciorra swore her to secrecy at the time.

According to the Associated Press, New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. made this statement after the verdict was revealed: “This is the new landscape for survivors of sexual assault in America, I believe, and it is a new day. It is a new day because Harvey Weinstein has finally been held accountable for crimes he committed. Weinstein is a vicious, serial sexual predator who used his power to threaten, rape, assault and trick, humiliate and silence his victims. Weinstein with his manipulation, his resources, his attorneys, his publicists and his spies did everything he could to silence to survivors.”

Weinstein’s attorneys said that they will appeal the verdict. His defense attorney Donna Rotunno commented after the verdict was revealed: “Harvey is unbelievably strong. He took it like a man. He knows that we will continue to fight for him, and we know that this is not over.”

Weinstein’s conviction and imprisonment for sex crimes are considered landmarks for the #MeToo movement, which became a major cultural force in October 2017, when the New York Times and the New Yorker reported that Weinstein has a long history of sexual misconduct allegations, going back as far as the 1980s. The reports detailed how he silenced many of his alleged victims with financial settlements and non-disclosure agreements. In the years since those reports were published, more than 100 women have come forward to claim that Weinstein sexually harassed or sexually assaulted them. Weinstein has denied all the allegations, and says any sex acts he committed were consensual.

After the reports were published, Weinstein was fired by The Weinstein Company (the entertainment firm that Harvey co-founded with his brother Bob); Harvey’s second wife, Georgina Chapman, divorced him; and the company filed for bankruptcy. The Weinstein Company has since been purchased by investment group Lantern Entertainment.

In March 2019, Lantern and Gary Barber launched Spyglass Media Group, which will own the library previously owned by The Weinstein Company. Italian film distributor Eagle Pictures, cinema chain Cineworld (which own Regal Cinemas) and later AT&T’s Warner Bros. were brought in as minority holders. The library includes Oscar-winning movies “The King’s Speech,” “The Artist,” “Inglourious Basterds,” “Django Unchained,” “The Hateful Eight,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “The Iron Lady,”  as well as partial ownership of the fashion reality TV competition “Project Runway.”

Several industry organizations (including the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) have expelled Harvey Weinstein from their membership, and he has been sued by several women for sexual harassment/sexual misconduct. Ashley Judd, one of his accusers, is also suing him for defamation because she claims Harvey Weinstein damaged her reputation and career after she rejected his sexual advances.

Since the accusations about Weinstein were made public, there have been several books, news stories and documentaries about his scandals. The most notable feature-length documentary so far about Weinstein is Hulu’s “Untouchable,” which began streaming in September 2019. The entertainment industry website Deadline reported in 2018 that Plan B (Brad Pitt’s production company) and Annapurna Pictures are planning a dramatic feature film about how The New York Times broke the Weinstein #MeToo story. The movie, if it’s made, will likely begin filming after all of Weinstein’s criminal cases have been resolved.

Harvey Weinstein’s downfall is widely considered to be the turning point of the #MeToo cultural movement, which has survivors of sexual harassment and sexual assault publicly telling their stories and seeking justice. The #MeToo movement has also led to sexual misconduct allegations against many other famous and powerful men, often resulting in the accused losing their jobs and/or being sued.

Nickelodeon, Time and Time for Kids team up to launch Kid of the Year award show

February 24, 2020

Trevor Noah (Photo by Craig Sjodin/ABC)

The following is a press release from Nickelodeon:

Nickelodeon, TIME and TIME For Kids are joining forces for the first-ever Kid of the Year honor, a year-long multiplatform initiative that will include a TV special simulcast on Nick and the CBS Television Network, and hosted by Trevor Noah (“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”). The December hour-long special will recognize five extraordinary young leaders who are making a positive impact in their communities and name TIME Kid of the Year, who will also be featured in companion stories in TIME and TIME For Kids. The Kid of the Year partnership will also include the opportunity for all the honorees to serve as kid reporters for TIME For Kids with exclusive access to Nickelodeon events throughout the year. Details on the nomination and submission process for Kid of the Year will be announced at a later date.

Said Trevor Noah, “As a former kid, I’m looking forward to being part of Nickelodeon and TIME’s Kid of the Year special, which celebrates everything that makes young people amazing and gives them a platform to have their voices heard. Today’s kids want to actively make the world a better place and we should do everything we can to help. That’s the goal of this show. So, let’s take those first steps on the path to positive change together and shine a light on the good.”

“Kids drive the cultural narrative in so many ways, and we at Nickelodeon are honored to partner with TIME and TIME For Kids for our first-ever Kid of the Year, an event that celebrates influential kids making a huge impact in their schools, communities and the world,” said Rob Bagshaw, Executive Vice President, Unscripted Content. “Led by the multitalented Trevor Noah, this special will showcase real kids’ achievements in a fun, unique way, and we are thrilled to extend its reach significantly further by simulcasting it on CBS, which is the most watched broadcast network.”

“Each and every day, kids around the world are inspiring, entertaining and positively impacting their communities,” said Ian Orefice, President of TIME Studios. “Their accomplishments remind us that the seemingly impossible may very well be possible. At TIME and TIME For Kids, we are committed to highlighting those that create positive change and we couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with Nickelodeon and Trevor Noah on Kid of the Year, celebrating these remarkable kids and their stories.”

The Kid of the Year TV special will shine a spotlight on five standout kids who have all gone the extra mile to positively shift culture and inspire others, culminating with one kid being recognized as Kid of the Year. The special will also feature stars from entertainment, sports and pop culture surprising the honorees, as well as musical performances.

Nickelodeon’s Kid of the Year is a co-production of TIME Studios, Day Zero Productions, Mainstay Entertainment and Nickelodeon. Executive Producers include Andrea Delbanco (TIME For Kids), Ian Orefice and Mike Beck (TIME Studios), Trevor Noah and Haroon Saleem (Day Zero Productions), Norm Aladjem, Derek Van Pelt and Sanaz Yamin (Mainstay Entertainment) and Rob Bagshaw and Paul J. Medford (Nickelodeon). Production of Nickelodeon’s Kid of the Year is overseen by Rob Bagshaw, Executive Vice President, Unscripted Content.

Trevor Noah is the host of the Emmy(R) and Peabody(R) Award-winning The Daily Show on Comedy Central. The Daily Show with Trevor Noah recently received two Primetime Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Variety Talk Series and Outstanding Interactive Program. Trevor has written, produced, and starred in 8 comedy specials, most recently including the Netflix special “Son of Patricia,” for which he also received a Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Album. With over 75 sold-out North American shows, he is bringing his wildly successful Loud & Clear Tour to new cities across the U.S. and Europe in 2020. Trevor recently launched his new podcast series “On Second Thought: The Trevor Noah Podcast” exclusively on Luminary. He is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller “Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood,” which received the Thurber Prize for American Humor and two NAACP Image Awards. The Audible edition of “Born a Crime,” performed by Trevor, remains one of the top-selling and highest-rated Audible performance of all time. To date, “Born a Crime” has sold over 1 million copies across all formats.

The forthcoming Kid of the Year partnership with TIME underscores a key element of Nickelodeon’s content strategy, to create co-viewing opportunities for today’s kids and parents who increasingly use TV time as family time; and to likewise serve a generation of kids intent on building a better future, as revealed through Nickelodeon audience research findings. The Kid of the Year initiative is part of Nickelodeon’s new content slate that is informed by insights into today’s kids, who: are the most diverse generation ever and expect to see themselves authentically represented in media and in the world around them; want to make a positive difference in the world as they grow up; consider social media stars as their top role models, alongside their parents; and increasingly meet their much-desired need for family time by co-viewing entertainment content together.

About TIME

TIME is a global media brand that reaches a combined audience of more than 90 million around the world, including over 33 million digital visitors each month and 42 million social followers. A trusted destination for reporting and insight, TIME’s mission is to tell the stories that matter most, to lead conversations that change the world and to deepen understanding of the ideas and events that define our time. With unparalleled access to the world’s most influential people, the immeasurable trust of consumers globally, an unrivaled power to convene, TIME is one of the world’s most recognizable media brands with renowned franchises that include the TIME 100 Most Influential People, Person of the Year, Firsts, Best Inventions, World’s Greatest Places and premium events including the TIME 100 Summit and Gala, TIME 100 Health Summit, TIME 100 Next and more.

About TIME For Kids

Since 1995, TIME For Kids has delivered current events from TIME news bureaus around the world to millions of students in elementary and middle school classrooms across the U.S. each week. As an educational publication, the mission of TIME For Kids is to help teachers engage young readers with the world around them and inspire kids to join the conversation about current events.

About Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon, now in its 40th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The brand includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, digital, location-based experiences, publishing and feature films. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of ViacomCBS Inc. (Nasdaq: VIACA, VIAC).

Amazon Prime Video series ‘Making the Cut,’ starring Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, announces Season 1 contestants

February 24, 2020

The following is a press release from Amazon Prime Video:

Amazon Original series “Making the Cut” reveals its first official look at the upcoming season, hosted and executive produced by Heidi Klum & Tim Gunn. The series will premiere on Prime Video on Friday March 27, 2020. The 10-episode fashion competition series, which brings together a diverse group of 12 talented entrepreneurs and designers, will premiere two new episodes each week, culminating in an epic finale on April 24, 2020.

In this first-ever global and instantly shoppable series, limited editions of the winning look from each episode will be available for purchase exclusively on Amazon in the “Making the Cut” store. During the course of the season, those who do not “make the cut” will be eliminated, with the winning designer from the finale receiving one million dollars to invest in their brand and the opportunity to create an exclusive line available on Amazon.

The dozen designers featured on “Making the Cut” will visit three of the world’s fashion capitals – New York, Paris, and Toyko – and face challenges and assignments that will test not only their design skills but also their ability to run all aspects of a business. Judging their looks and industry acumen are some of fashion’s most recognizable and influential names, including Naomi Campbell, Nicole Richie, Joseph Altuzarra, Carine Roitfeld and Chiara Ferragni. The series is executive produced by Sara Rea, Page Feldman, Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn and Jennifer Love, directed by Ramy Romany and produced by Amazon Studios and SKR Productions.

As previously announced, the 12 designers competing for an opportunity of a lifetime are:

Sander Bos, 24, Hasselt, Belgium: Featuring avant-garde inspired looks, Bos is a young designer who runs his namesake line. Raised in a small town in Belgium, he is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and is eager to make his mark on a global scale.

Rinat Brodach, 35, New York City: Brodach was a fan of fashion from an early age while growing up in in Israel and later came to the US to study design. Her eponymous line features a minimalist chic, gender-free aesthetic, reflecting her own straightforward personality. She recently dressed Billy Porter for the Critics’ Choice Awards and her designs have also been worn by Laverne Cox and Adam Lambert.

Ji Won Choi, 26, New York City: The Parson graduate is a designer of elevated, active streetwear that she sells under her namesake brand and has collaborated with Adidas, with pieces worn by Beyoncé and Kendall Jenner. Born in Seoul, South Korea, raised in Oklahoma, and educated in New York City and Paris, her work is a reflection of how Choi sees herself in the world.

Jasmine Chong, 31, New York City: Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Chong is the owner of her self-titled feminine ready-to-wear line, has previously shown at NYFW and her line has been featured in a number of fashion magazines. Inspired by her seamstress grandmother and her fashion designer mother, she is focused on creating beautiful clothing that appeals to all body types.

Jonny Cota, 35, Los Angeles, CA: The self-taught owner of the elevated streetwear brand Skingraft, Cota produces two men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collections yearly and has shown five times at New York Fashion Week. In addition, he has dressed celebrities including Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé.

Martha Gottwald, 28, Richmond, VA: The Louisiana native and mother of two is owner of the womenswear brand Neubyrne and has been featured in British Vogue and shown at NYFW. Like Gottwald herself, Neubyrne embraces color and whimsicality. The survivor of a near fatal car accident that taught her about strength and endurance, she is a relatively new designer who was inspired by artisans she met in Singapore.

Troy Hul Arnold, 34, New York City: An adjunct professor at Parsons, Hul Arnold was born in Trinidad and Tobago before coming to the US as a child. His brand, Hul Arnold, features minimalist, avant-garde menswear inspired looks for women; one of his designs was worn by Sarah Jessica Parker on Glee. Hul Arnold takes an artisanal approach to his fashion, and he refers to his pieces as functional sculptures.

Joshua Hupper, 38, Shanghai, China: Founder of BABYGHOST, a wildly successful e-commerce fashion brand based in China, Hupper’s designs have been featured in Vogue and on runways around the world. His line features youthful, feminine ready-to-wear fashions for the “mischievous girl.” Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Hupper’s talents were shaped by his artistic upbringing and internships with Diane Von Furstenburg and Thakoon.

Esther Perbandt, 43, Berlin, Germany: Founder and namesake Esther Perbandt was born and bred in Berlin, toughened up in Moscow and polished in Paris. Owner of her eponymous line, which features edgy, menswear-inspired separates, Perbandt has created more than 30 collections over the brand’s 15 year history and has been running her highly successful boutique in Berlin for ten years. As an artist, she has also collaborated on countless music, film and theatre projects.

Will Riddle, 31, New York City: Riddle’s design skills, featuring a modern take on old glamour, have led to a series of impressive jobs, including Atelier Director at Oscar de la Renta, 3.1 Philip Lim, and now men’s designer at Kith – a far journey from growing up in a trailer park in Ohio. With an impressive resume under his belt, Riddle is ready to start his own label.

Sabato Russo, 64, Milan, Italy: A seasoned designer with a 25-year career in the industry, Russo is owner of the brand Satorial Monk, which focuses on high end simplicity. A former model who is able to speak four languages, Russo has a global point of view that is reflected in his sophisticated, timeless looks. Russo is currently working on his “Made in Italy” line entitled Sabato Russo.

Megan Smith, 38, Los Angeles, CA: Born and raised in Kansas City, KS, Smith first discovered her love of fashion design while creating clothes for her Barbie dolls. After designing private label for several major bands and retailers, Smith branched out and launched her own line “Megan Renee.” The response to her first runway show during Los Angeles Fashion Week was so overwhelming, she launched her online boutique to sell her collections to customers worldwide. Her line features feminine, 70’s inspired cocktail attire.

Making The Cut Social Handles: #MakingtheCut
Twitter: @MakingtheCutTV
Instagram: @MakingtheCutTV

Amazon Prime Video Social Handles:
Twitter: @PrimeVideo
Instagram: @AmazonPrimeVideo

Amazon Fashion Social Handles:
Instagram & Twitter: @AmazonFashion

Making The Cut Talent & Judge Social Handles:
Heidi Klum: Twitter and Instagram @HeidiKlum
Tim Gunn: Twitter and Instagram @TimGunn
Naomi Campbell: Twitter @NaomiCampbell and Instagram @Naomi
Nicole Richie: Twitter and Instagram @NicoleRichie
Carine Roitfeld: Instagram @CarineRoitfeld
Joseph Altuzarra: Instagram @JosephAltuzarra
Chiara Ferragni: Twitter and Instagram @ChiaraFerragni

True Crime Entertainment: What’s New This Week

The following content is generally available worldwide, except where otherwise noted. All TV shows listed are for networks and streaming services based in the United States. All movies listed are those released in U.S. cinemas. This schedule is for content and events premiering this week and does not include content that has already been made available.

Monday, February 24 – Sunday, March 1

TV/Streaming Services

All times listed are Eastern Time/Pacific Time, unless otherwise noted.

Netflix’s six-part docuseries “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez” premieres on Wednesday, February 26 at 3 a.m. ET/12 a.m. PT.

Monday, February 24

“Live PD: Police Patrol”
(Episode 246)
Monday, February 24, 8 p.m., A&E

“Live PD: Police Patrol”
(Episode 246)
Monday, February 24, 8:30 p.m., A&E

“Twisted Love”
“Twisted Love” (Episode 103)
Monday, February 24, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“Fatal Attraction”
“Blazing Deception” (Monica Sykes)
Monday, February 24, 9 p.m., TV One

“American Greed”
“Fake Heiress Cons High Society” (Episode 184)
Monday, February 24, 10 p.m., CNBC

“McMillions”
Episode 4
Monday, February 24, 10 p.m., HBO

“Stranger Among Us”
“Flames of Fury” (Episode 104)
Monday, February 24, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

Tuesday, February 25

“Murder Comes Home”
“On Her Own” (Episode 105)
Tuesday, February 25, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

Wednesday, February 26

“The Trials of Gabriel Hernandez” (Six-part docuseries)
Wednesday, February 26, 3 a.m./12 am., Netflix

“Live PD: PD Cam”
Wednesday, February 26, 8 p.m., A&E

“Live PD: PD Cam”
Wednesday, February 26, 8 :30 p.m., A&E

“The Murder Tapes”
“Fire in the Desert” (Episode 204)
Wednesday, February 26, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“True Life Crime”
“Mom Gone Missing: Runaway or Murder Victim?”(Episode 108) **Season Finale**
Wednesday, February 26, 9 p.m., MTV

“In Pursuit With John Walsh”
“In Cold Blood”(Episode 207)
Wednesday, February 26, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

Thursday, February 27

“The First 48”
“Triggered” (Episode 1911)
Thursday, February 27, 8 p.m., A&E

“Snapped: Killer Couples”
“Kristel Maestas and Ronald Bell” (Episode 1303)
Thursday, February 27, 8 p.m., Oxygen

“Live PD: Wanted”
(Episode 201) **Season Premiere**
Thursday, February 27, 9 p.m., A&E

“Man With a Van”
“Handsome Devil” (Episode 103) 
Thursday, February 27, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“In Ice Cold Blood”
“Guilty as Charged” (Episode 303) 
Thursday, February 27, 9 p.m., Oxygen

“60 Days In”
“They Know” (Episode 609)
Thursday, February 27, 10 p.m., A&E

Friday, February 28

“Dateline NBC: Secrets Uncovered”
“The Carrolton Plot” (Episode 820)
Friday, February 28, 8 p.m., Oxygen

“Fatal Vows”
“Hell on Wheels” (Episode 704)
Friday, February 28, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“Live PD: Roll Call”
Friday, February 28, 8 p.m., A&E

“Live PD: Rewind”
Friday, February 28, 8:06 p.m., A&E

“Live PD”
Friday, February 28, 9 p.m., A&E

“20/20”
Friday, February 28, 9 p.m., ABC

“Dateline”
Friday, February 28, 9 p.m., NBC

Saturday, February 29

“Criminal Confessions”
“A Helpful Witness” (Episode 313)
Saturday, February 29, 6 p.m., Oxygen

“Up and Vanished”
“Deadly Spirits” (Episode 103)
Saturday, February 29, 7 p.m., Oxygen

“Live PD: Roll Call”
Saturday, February 29, 8 p.m., A&E

“Live PD: Rewind”
Saturday, February 29, 8:06 p.m., A&E

“Live PD”
Saturday, February 29, 9 p.m., A&E

“48 Hours”
Saturday, February 29, 10 p.m., CBS

Sunday, March 1

“Evil Lives Here”
“He Almost Got Away With It” (Episode 709)
Sunday, March 1, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“Wrong Man”
(Episode 203)
Sunday, March 1, 9:05 p.m., Starz

“The Lake Erie Murders”
“Black Sabbath” (Episode 204)
Sunday, March 1, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“Forensic Files II”
(Episode 103)
Sunday, March 1, 10 p.m., HLN

“Forensic Files II”
(Episode 104)
Sunday, March 1, 10:30 p.m., HLN

Movies in Theaters

“Burden”

Directed by Andrew Heckler

MPAA Rating: R

When a museum celebrating the Ku Klux Klan opens in a small South Carolina town, the idealistic Reverend Kennedy (played by Academy Award-winner Forest Whitaker) resolves to do everything in his power to prevent long-simmering racial tensions from boiling over. But the members of Kennedy’s congregation are shocked to discover that his plan includes sheltering Mike Burden (played by Garrett Hedlund), a Klansman whose relationships with both a single-mother (played by Andrea Riseborough) and a high-school friend (played by Usher Raymond) force him to re-examine his long-held beliefs. After Kennedy helps Mike leave behind his violent past, the Baptist preacher finds himself on a collision course with manipulative KKK leader Tom Griffin (played by Tom Wilkinson). In the face of grave threats to himself and his family, the resolute Kennedy bravely pursues a path toward peace, setting aside his own misgivings in the hopes of healing his wounded community. From Oscar-nominated filmmaker Robbie Brenner (“Dallas Buyers Club”) and writer/director Andrew Heckler comes this dramatic true story of compassion and grace in the American South.

Radio/Podcasts

No new podcast series debuts this week.

Events

Events listed here are not considered endorsements by this website. All ticket buyers with questions or concerns about the event should contact the event promoter or ticket seller directly.

All start times listed are local time.

Live Laugh Levitate: An Unofficial Last Podcast on the Left Book Club

A discussion of author Dave Cullen’s non-fiction book “Columbine.”

WHEN: Saturday, February 29, 4 – 6 p.m.

WHERE: Onderdonk & Sons, 566 Onderdonk Ave ue, Ridgewood, NY 11385

ADMISSION: Free; RSVP recommended.

 

2020 NAACP Image Awards: Lizzo, Beyoncé, ‘Just Mercy,’ ‘Black-ish’ among the top winners

February 22, 2020

by Carla Hay

Lizzo, Beyoncé, the dramatic film “Just Mercy” and the comedy series “Black-ish” were among the top winners at the 51st NAACP Image Awards, which were presented at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California, on February 22, 2020. BET had the U.S. telecast of the show, which was hosted by “Black-ish” star Anthony Anderson.

Lizzo was named Entertainer of the Year, and her “Juice” video won Outstanding Music Video. Beyoncé, who did not attend the ceremony, won seven prizes: Outstanding Female Artist; Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration (for her collaboration with Blue Ivy, Saint Jhn, and Wizkid’s “Brown Skin Girl”); Outstanding Song, Traditional (for “Spirit”); Outstanding Song, Contemporary (“Before I Get Go”); Outstanding Album (for “Beyoncé – Homecoming: The Live Album”); Outstanding Soundtrack/Compilation (for “Beyoncé & Various artists – The Lion King: The Gift”); and Outstanding Variety (Series or Special), for  “Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé.”

ABC’s “Black-ish” won five awards: Outstanding Comedy Series; Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series (for Anderson);  Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series (for Tracee Ellis Ross);  Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (for Deon Cole); and “Black-is” co-star Marsai Martin won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, as well as Outstanding Performance by a Youth (Series, Special, Television Movie or Limited Series). In the movie categories, Martin also won the awards for  Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture and Outstanding Breakthrough Performance in a Motion Picture, for her role in the comedy film “Little.”

Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Just Mercy,” which is based on the true story of wrongfully convicted prisoner Walter McMillian, won four prizes: Outstanding Motion Pictures; Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture; Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture (for Michael B. Jordan); and  Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture (for Jamie Foxx).

According the a press release from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP): “The NAACP Image Awards honors the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature, and film and also recognizes individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors. The Image Awards previously aired on TV One.”

The public votes for the awards in the competitive categories. Non-competitive award recipients are announced in advance. This year, the recipients were U.S. Congressman John Lewis (Chairman’s Award), entertainment/fashion mogul Rihanna (President’s Award) and General Charles E. McGhee (Key of Life Award).

The following is the complete list of nominees and winners for the 2020 NAACP Image Awards:

*=winner

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

  • Angela Bassett
  • Billy Porter
  • Lizzo*
  • Regina King
  • Tyler Perry

TELEVISION CATEGORIES

Outstanding Comedy Series

  • “Ballers” (HBO)
  • “black-ish” (ABC)*
  • “Dear White People” (Netflix)
  • “grown-ish” (Freeform)
  • “the Neighborhood” (CBS)

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Anthony Anderson – “black-ish” (ABC)*
  • Cedric The Entertainer – “the Neighborhood” (CBS)
  • Don Cheadle – “Black Monday” (Showtime)
  • Dwayne Johnson – “Ballers” (HBO)
  • Tracy Morgan – “The Last O.G.” (TBS)

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series

  • Logan Browning – “Dear White People” (Netflix)
  • Jill Scott – “First Wives Club” (BET+)
  • Tiffany Haddish – “The Last O.G.” (TBS)
  • Tracee Ellis Ross – “black-ish ” (ABC)*
  • Yara Shahidi – “grown-ish” (Freeform)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Andre Braugher – “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC)
  • Deon Cole – “black-ish” (ABC)*
  • Laurence Fishburne – “black-ish” (ABC)
  • Terry Crews – “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC)
  • Tituss Burgess – “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Netflix)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

  • Halle Bailey – “grown-ish” (Freeform)
  • Loretta Devine – “Family Reunion” (Netflix)
  • Marsai Martin – “black-ish” (ABC)*
  • Regina Hall – “Black Monday” (Showtime)
  • Tichina Arnold – “the Neighborhood” (CBS)

Outstanding Drama Series

  • “Godfather of Harlem” (EPIX)
  • “Greenleaf” (OWN)*
  • “Queen Sugar” (OWN)
  • “The Chi” (Showtime)
  • “Watchmen” (HBO)

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series

  • Billy Porter – “Pose” (FX Networks)
  • Forest Whitaker – “Godfather of Harlem” (EPIX)
  • Kofi Siriboe – “Queen Sugar” (OWN)
  • Omari Hardwick – “Power” (Starz)*
  • Sterling K. Brown – “This Is Us” (NBC)

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series

  • Angela Bassett – “9-1-1” (FOX)*
  • Regina King – “Watchmen” (HBO)
  • Rutina Wesley – “Queen Sugar” (OWN)
  • Simone Missick – “All Rise” (CBS)
  • Viola Davis – “How to Get Away with Murder” (ABC)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

  • Delroy Lindo – “The Good Fight” (CBS All Access)
  • Giancarlo Esposito – “Godfather of Harlem” (EPIX)
  • Harold Perrineau – “Claws” (TNT)*
  • Nigél Thatch – “Godfather of Harlem” (EPIX)
  • Wendell Pierce – “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” (Prime Video)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

  • CCH Pounder – “NCIS: New Orleans” (CBS)
  • Lynn Whitfield – “Greenleaf” (OWN)*
  • Lyric Ross – “This Is Us” (NBC)
  • Susan Kelechi Watson – “This Is Us” (NBC)
  • Tina Lifford – “Queen Sugar” (OWN)

Outstanding Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special

  • American Son (Netflix)
  • Being Mary Jane (BET Networks)
  • Native Son (HBO)
  • True Detective (HBO)
  • When They See Us (Netflix)*

Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special

  • Caleel Harris – “When They See Us” (Netflix)
  • Ethan Henry Herisse – “When They See Us” (Netflix)
  • Idris Elba – “Luther” (BBC America)
  • Jharrel Jerome – “When They See Us” (Netflix)*
  • Mahershala Ali – “True Detective” (HBO)

Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special

  • Aunjanue Ellis – “When They See Us” (Netflix)
  • Gabrielle Union – “Being Mary Jane” (BET Networks)
  • Kerry Washington – “American Son” (Netflix)
  • Niecy Nash – “When They See Us” (Netflix)*
  • Octavia Spencer – “Truth Be Told” (Apple TV+)

Outstanding News/Information (Series or Special)

  • PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools (PBS)
  • Surviving R. Kelly (Lifetime)
  • The Breakfast Club (REVOLT)
  • The Story of God with Morgan Freeman (National Geographic)
  • Unsung (TV One)*

Outstanding Talk Series

  • “Red Table Talk” (Facebook Watch)*
  • “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” (Comedy Central)
  • “The Real” (Syndicated)
  • “The Shop: Uninterrupted” (HBO)
  • “The Tamron Hall Show” (Syndicated)

Outstanding Reality Program/Reality Competition Series/Game Show

  • “Iyanla: Fix My Life” (OWN)
  • “Lip Sync Battle” (Paramount Network)
  • “Rhythm + Flow” (Netflix)*
  • “Sunday Best” (BET Networks)
  • “The Voice” (NBC)

Outstanding Variety (Series or Special)

  • “2019 Black Girls Rock!” (BET Networks)
  • “Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones” (Netflix)
  • “Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé” (Netflix)*
  • “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
  • “Wanda Sykes: Not Normal” (Netflix)

Outstanding Children’s Program

  • “Doc McStuffins” (Disney Junior)
  • “Family Reunion” (Netflix)
  • “Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History” (Netflix)
  • “Marvel’s Avengers: Black Panther’s Quest” (Disney XD)
  • “Motown Magic” (Netflix)

Outstanding Performance by a Youth (Series, Special, Television Movie or Limited-Series)

  • Caleel Harris – “When They See Us” (Netflix)
  • Lonnie Chavis – “This Is Us” (NBC)
  • Lyric Ross – “This Is Us” (NBC)
  • Marsai Martin – “black-ish” (ABC)*
  • Miles Brown – “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Host in a Talk or News/Information (Series or Special) – Individual or Ensemble

  • Angela Rye – “Young Gifted and Broke: A BET Town Hall” (BET Networks)
  • Jada Pinkett Smith – “Red Table Talk” (Facebook Watch)*
  • Lester Holt – “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” (NBC)
  • Trevor Noah – “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” (Comedy Central)
  • Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, Meghan McCain, Abby Huntsman, Ana Navarro – “The View” (ABC)

Outstanding Host in a Reality/Reality Competition, Game Show or Variety (Series or Special) – Individual or Ensemble

  • Iyanla Vanzant – “Iyanla: Fix My Life” (OWN)
  • LL Cool J – “Lip Sync Battle” (Paramount Network)
  • Regina Hall – “2019 BET Awards” (BET Networks)
  • Steve Harvey – “Celebrity Family Feud” (ABC)*
  • Wayne Brady – “Let’s Make A Deal” (CBS)

Outstanding Guest Performance in a Comedy or Drama Series

  • Blair Underwood – “Dear White People” ( Netflix)
  • David Alan Grier – “Queen Sugar” (OWN)
  • Kelly Rowland – “American Soul” (BET Networks)*
  • MAJOR. – “Star” (FOX)
  • Sanaa Lathan – “The Affair” (Showtime)

RECORDING CATEGORIES

Outstanding Album

  • “Cuz I Love You” – Lizzo (Nice Life Records/Atlantic Records)
  • “Homecoming: The Live Album” – Beyoncé (Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia Records)*
  • “I Used To Know H.E.R.” – H.E.R. (MBK Entertainment / RCA Records)
  • “Sketchbook” – Fantasia (Rock Soul Inc./BMG)
  • “Worthy” – India.Arie (India.Arie Inc./BMG)

Outstanding New Artist

  • Ari Lennox (Dreamville/Interscope Records)
  • Lil Nas X (Columbia Records)*
  • Lucky Daye (Keep Cool/RCA Records)
  • Mahalia (Burkmar/Warner Music UK)
  • Mykal Kilgore (Affective Music)

Outstanding Male Artist

  • Bruno Mars (Atlantic Records)
  • Khalid (RCA Records)
  • Lil Nas X (Columbia Records)
  • MAJOR. (BOE Music Group/EMPIRE)
  • PJ Morton (Morton Records)

Outstanding Female Artist

  • Beyoncé (Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia Records)*
  • Fantasia (Rock Soul Inc./BMG)
  • H.E.R. (MBK Entertainment / RCA Records)
  • India.Arie (India.Arie Inc./BMG)
  • Lizzo (Nice Life Records/Atlantic Records)

Outstanding Song – Traditional

  • “Enough” – Fantasia (Rock Soul Inc./BMG)
  • “Jerome” – Lizzo (Nice Life Records/Atlantic Records)
  • “Spirit” – Beyoncé (Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia Records)*
  • “Stand Up” – Cynthia Erivo written by Joshuah Brian Campbell & Cynthia Erivo (Back Lot Music)
  • “Steady Love” – India.Arie (India.Arie Inc./BMG)

Outstanding Song – Contemporary

  • “Before I Let Go” – Beyoncé (Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia Records)*
  • “Hard Place” – H.E.R. (MBK Entertainment / RCA Records)
  • “Juice” – Lizzo (Nice Life Records/Atlantic Records)
  • “Talk” – Khalid (RCA Records)
  • “Motivation” – Normani (Keep Cool/RCA Records)

Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration

  • “Brown Skin Girl” – Blue Ivy, SAINt JHN, Beyoncé & WizKiD (Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia Records)*
  • “No Guidance” – Chris Brown feat. Drake (Chris Brown Entertainment/RCA Records)
  • “Say So” – PJ Morton feat. JoJo (Morton Records/EMPIRE)
  • “Shea Butter Baby” – Ari Lennox feat. J. Cole (Dreamville/Interscope Records)
  • “Show Me Love” – Alicia Keys feat. Miguel (RCA Records)

Outstanding Jazz Album

  • “Carib” – David Sanchez (Ropeadope)
  • “Center of The Heart” – Najee (Shanachie)
  • “Love & Liberation” – Jazzmeia Horn (Concord Jazz)*
  • “SoulMate” – Nathan Mitchell (Enm Music Group)
  • “The Dream Is You: Vanessa Rubin Sings Tadd Dameron” – Vanessa Rubin (Vanessa Rubin)

Outstanding Gospel/Christian Song (Traditional or Contemporary)

  • “I Made It Out” – John P. Kee feat. Zacardi Cortez (Kee Music Group/Entertainment One)
  • “Laughter” – Bebe Winans feat. Korean Soul (Regimen Records)
  • “Love Theory” – Kirk Franklin (Fo Yo Soul Records/RCA Records)*
  • “Not Yet” – Donnie McClurkin (Camdon Music/RCA Inspiration)
  • “Victory” – The Clark Sisters (Karew Records/Motown Gospel/Capitol CMG)

Outstanding Music Video/Visual Album

  • “Hard Place” – H.E.R. (MBK Entertainment / RCA Records)
  • “Juice” – Lizzo (Nice Life Records/Atlantic Records*
  • “No Guidance” – Chris Brown feat. Drake (Chris Brown Entertainment/RCA Records)
  • “Steady Love” – India.Arie (India.Arie Inc./BMG)
  • “Talk” – Khalid (RCA Records)

Outstanding Soundtrack/Compilation Album

  • “Harriet (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)” – Terence Blanchard (Back Lot Music)
  • “Queen & Slim The Soundtrack” – Various Artists (Motown Records)
  • “The Lion King: The Gift” – Beyoncé w/Various Artists (Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia Records)*
  • “The Lion King Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” – Various Artists (Walt Disney Records)
  • “Us (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)” – Michael Abels (Back Lot Music)

LITERATURE CATEGORIES

Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction

  • “New Daughters of Africa” – Margaret Busby (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • “Out of Darkness, Shining Light” – Petina Gappah (Simon and Schuster)
  • “Red at the Bone” – Jacqueline Woodson (Riverhead Books PRH)
  • “The Revisioners” – Margaret Wilkerson Sexton (Counter Point Press)*
  • “The Water Dancer” – Ta-Nehisi Coates (One World)

Outstanding Literary Work – Nonfiction

  • “Breathe: A Letter to My Sons” – Dr. Imani Perry (Beacon Press)
  • “STONY THE ROAD: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow” – Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Penguin Press)
  • “The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations” – Toni Morrison (Alfred A. Knopf)*
  • “The Yellow House” – Sarah M. Broom (Grove Atlantic)
  • “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays” – Damon Young (HarperCollins Publishers)

Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author 

  • “American Spy” – Lauren Wilkinson (Random House)
  • “I Am Dance: Words and Images of the Black Dancer” – Hal Banfield (Author), Javier Vasquez (Illustrator), (Literary Revolutionary)*
  • “More Than Pretty: Doing The Soul Work To Uncover Your True Beauty ” – Erica Campbell (Howard Books)
  • “Such A Fun Age” – Kiley Reid (Putnam Publishing / Penguin Publishing Group)
  • “The Farm” – Joanne Ramos (Random House)

Outstanding Literary Work – Biography/Autobiography

  • “Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System” – Cyntoia Brown-Long (Atria Books)
  • “Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward” – Valerie Jarrett (Viking Press)
  • “More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say)” – Elaine Welteroth (Viking Press)*
  • “My Name Is Prince” – Randee St. Nicholas (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • “The Beautiful Ones” – Prince (Author), Dan Piepenbring (Edited by), (Random House)

Outstanding Literary Work – Instructional

  • “Inspire Your Home: Easy, Affordable Ideas to Make Every Room Glamorous” – Farah Merhi (Tiller Press)
  • “Letters to the Finishers (who struggle to finish)” – Candace E. Wilkins (New Season Books)
  • “More Than Pretty: Doing the Soul Work that Uncovers Your True Beauty” – Erica Campbell (Howard Books)
  • “Vegetables Unleashed” – José Andres (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • “Your Next Level Life: 7 Rules of Power, Confidence, And Opportunity For Black Women In America” – Karen Arrington (Author), Joanna Price (Illustrator), Sheryl Taylor (Forward) (Mango Publishing)*

Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry

  • “A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing: The Incarceration of African American Women from Harriet Tubman to Sandra Bland” – DaMaris B. Hill (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • “Felon: Poems” – Reginald Dwayne Betts (W.W. Norton Company)*
  • “Honeyfish” – Lauren K. Alleyne (New Issues Poetry and Prose)
  • “Mistress” – Chet’la Sebree (New Issue Poetry and Prose)
  • “The Tradition” – Jericho Brown (Copper Canyon Press)

Outstanding Literary Work – Children

  • “A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation” – Barry Wittenstein (Author), Jerry Pinkney (Illustrator), (Neal Porter Books / Holiday House Publishing Inc.)
  • “Hair Love” – Matthew A. Cherry (Author), Vashti Harrison (Illustrator), (Kokila)
  • “Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment” – Parker Curry (Author), Jessica Curry (Author), Brittany Jackson (Illustrator), (Aladdin Books)
  • “Ruby Finds a Worry” – Tom Percival (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • “Sulwe” – Lupita Nyong’o (Author), Vashti Harrison (Illustrator), (Simon & Schuster, BFYR)*

Outstanding Literary Work – Youth/Teens

  • “Around Harvard Square” – C.J. Farley (Akashic Books)*
  • “Her Own Two Feet: A Rwandan Girl’s Brave Fight to Walk” – Meredith Davis (Author), Rebeka Uwitonze (Author), (Scholastic Inc.)
  • “Hot Comb” – Ebony Flowers (Author), Ebony Flowers (Illustrator), (Drawn and Quarterly)
  • “I’m Not Dying with You Tonight” – Gilly Segal (Author), Kimberly Jones (Author), (Sourcebooks Fire)
  • “The Forgotten Girl” – India Hill Brown (Scholastic Inc.)

MOTION PICTURE CATEGORIES
Outstanding Motion Picture

  • “Dolemite is My Name” (Netflix)
  • “Harriet” (Focus Features)
  • “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)*
  • “Queen & Slim” (Universal Pictures)
  • “Us” (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture

  • Chadwick Boseman – “21 Bridges” (STX Films)
  • Daniel Kaluuya – “Queen & Slim” (Universal Pictures)
  • Eddie Murphy – “Dolemite is My Name” (Netflix)
  • Michael B. Jordan – “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)*
  • Winston Duke – “Us” (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture

  • Alfre Woodard – “Clemency” (Neon)
  • Cynthia Erivo – “Harriet” (Focus Features)
  • Jodie Turner-Smith – “Queen & Slim” (Universal Pictures)
  • Lupita Nyong’o – “Us” (Universal Pictures)*
  • Naomie Harris – “Black and Blue” (Screen Gems/Sony Pictures)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

  • Jamie Foxx – “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)*
  • Leslie Odom, Jr. – “Harriet” (Focus Features)
  • Sterling K. Brown – “Waves” (A24)
  • Tituss Burgess – “Dolemite Is My Name” (Netflix)
  • Wesley Snipes – “Dolemite Is My Name” (Netflix)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

  • Da’Vine Joy Randolph – “Dolemite is My Name” (Netflix)
  • Janelle Monáe – “Harriet” (Focus Features)
  • Jennifer Lopez – “Hustlers” (STX Films)
  • Marsai Martin – “Little” (Universal Pictures)*
  • Octavia Spencer – “Luce” (Neon)

Outstanding Breakthrough Performance in a Motion Picture

  • Cynthia Erivo – “Harriet” (Focus Features)
  • Jodie Turner-Smith – “Queen & Slim” (Universal Pictures)
  • Marsai Martin – “Little” (Universal Pictures)*
  • Rob Morgan – “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
  • Shahadi Wright Joseph – “Us” (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture

  • “Dolemite is My Name” (Netflix)
  • “Harriet” (Focus Features)
  • “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)*
  • “Queen & Slim” (Universal Pictures)
  • “Us” (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Independent Motion Picture

  • “Clemency” (Neon)
  • “Dolemite is My Name” (Netflix)*
  • “Luce” (Neon)
  • “Queen & Slim” (Universal Pictures)
  • “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” (Netflix)

Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance (Television or Film)

  • Alfre Woodard – “The Lion King” (Walt Disney Studios)
  • Donald Glover – “The Lion King” (Walt Disney Studios)
  • James Earl Jones – “The Lion King” (Walt Disney Studios)*
  • Lupita Nyong’o – “Serengeti” (Discovery Channel)
  • Sterling K. Brown – “Frozen II” (Walt Disney Studios)

DOCUMENTARY CATEGORIES
Outstanding Documentary (Film)

  • “Miles Davis: Birth Of The Cool” (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
  • “The Black Godfather” (Netflix)
  • “The Apollo” (HBO)
  • “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” (Magnolia Pictures)*
  • “True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality” (HBO)

Outstanding Documentary (Television – Series or Special)

  • “Free Meek” (Prime Video)
  • “Hitsville: The Making of Motown” (Showtime)*
  • “Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé” (Netflix)
  • “Martin: The Legacy of A King” (BET Networks)
  • “ReMastered: The Two Killings of Sam Cooke” (Netflix)

WRITING CATEGORIES
Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series

  • Cord Jefferson – “The Good Place” – Tinker, Tailor, Demon, Spy (NBC)*
  • Gloria Calderon Kellett, Mike Royce – “One Day at a Time” – Ghosts (Netflix)
  • Jason Kim – “Barry” – Past=Present x Future Over Yesterday (HBO)
  • Karen Gist, Peter Saji – “Mixed-ish” – Let Your Hair Down (ABC)
  • Trevor Noah – “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” – Steve King’s Comments Meet Trevor Noah: Racism Detective (Comedy Central)

Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series

  • Ava DuVernay, Michael Starrbury – “When They See Us” – Part Four (Netflix)
  • Damon Lindelof, Cord Jefferson – “Watchmen” – The Extraordinary Being (HBO)
  • Nichelle Tramble Spellman – “Truth Be Told” – Monster (Apple TV+)*
  • Nkechi Okoro Carroll – “All American” – Hussle & Motivate (The CW)
  • Pat Charles – “Black Lightning” – The Book of Secrets: Chapter One: Prodigal Son (The CW)

Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture (Television)

  • Cas Sigers-Beedles – “Twas the Chaos Before Christmas” (BET Networks)
  • Melissa Bustamante – “A Christmas Winter Song” (Lifetime)
  • Patrik-Ian Polk, Devon Shepard, and Alyson Fouse – “Being Mary Jane” (BET Networks)
  • Suzan-Lori Parks – “Native Son” (HBO)*
  • Yvette Nicole Brown – “Always a Bridesmaid” (BET Networks)

Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture (Film)

  • Chinonye Chukwu – “Clemency” (Neon)
  • Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham – “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
  • Doug Atchison – “Brian Banks” (Bleecker Street and ShivHans Pictures)
  • Jordan Peele – “Us” (Universal Pictures)*
  • Kasi Lemmons, Gregory Allen Howard – “Harriet” (Focus Features)

DIRECTING CATEGORIES
Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series

  • Anya Adams – “GLOW” – Outward Bound (Netflix)*
  • Justin Tipping – “Black Monday” -7042 (Showtime)
  • Ken Whittingham – “Atypical” – Road Rage Paige (Netflix)
  • Randall Winston – “Grace and Frankie” – The Pharmacy (Netflix)
  • Shaka King – “Shrill” – Pool (Hulu)

Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series

  • Ava DuVernay – “When They See Us” – Part Four (Netflix)
  • Carl H. Seaton, Jr. – “Snowfall” – Hedgehogs (FX Networks)
  • Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson – “Power” – Forgot About Dre (Starz)*
  • Debbie Allen – “Grey’s Anatomy” – Silent All These Years (ABC)
  • Jet Wilkinson – “The Chi” – The Scorpion and the Frog (Showtime)

Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture (Television)

  • Codie Elaine Oliver – “Black Love” (OWN)
  • Janice Cooke – “I Am Sombody’s Child: The Regina Louise Story (Lifetime)
  • Kenny Leon – “American Son” (Netflix)
  • Rashid Johnson – “Native Son” (HBO)*
  • Russ Parr – “The Bobby Debarge Story” (TV One)

Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture (Film)

  • Chiwetel Ejiofor – “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” (Netflix)*
  • Jordan Peele – “Us” (Universal Pictures)
  • Kasi Lemmons – “Harriet” (Focus Features)
  • Mati Diop – “Atlantics” (Les Films du Bal Presente en Co-Production avec Cinekap et Frakas Productions en Co-Production avec Arte France Cinema et Canal+ International for Netflix)
  • Reginald Hudlin – “The Black Godfather” (Netflix)

Review: ‘Impractical Jokers: The Movie,’ starring James ‘Murr’ Murray, Brian ‘Q’ Quinn, Joe Gatto and Sal Vulcano

February 22, 2020

by Carla Hay

Brian “Q” Quinn, James “Murr” Murray, Sal Vulcano and Joe Gatto in “Impractical Jokers: The Movie” (Photo courtesy of truTV)

“Impractical Jokers: The Movie”

Directed by Chris Henchy

Culture Representation: The predominantly white cast of the comedy film “Impractical Jokers: The Movie” has the four prank-playing stars of truTV’s “Impractical Jokers” going on a road trip to Miami and encountering people from various walks of life.

Culture Clash: This entire movie is about how the stars of “Impractical Jokers” compete with each other over an invitation to a Paula Abdul party, and they play pranks on unsuspecting people and themselves as part of the competition.

Culture Audience: “Impractical Jokers: The Movie” will primarily appeal to “Impractical Jokers” fans and other fans of lowbrow pranks.

Joe Gatto, Sal Vulcano, James “Murr” Murray and Brian “Q” Quinn in “Impractical Jokers: The Movie” (Photo courtesy of truTV)

Fans of truTV’s “Impractical Jokers,” which has been on the air since 2011 and follows the New York City-based comedy troupe The Tenderloins, should already know what to expect for the “Impractical Jokers: The Movie,” the first theatrically released feature film from truTV. The question is if it’s worth paying extra money to see a movie that could basically be a TV special available at no extra charge for people who have truTV. You’d have to be a humorless grouch to not enjoy some of the genuinely laugh-out-loud moments in the movie. However, “Impractical Jokers: The Movie” falls on its face when it steers away from the pranks, and it has the stars of the show reading scripted lines as actors portraying themselves.

“Impractical Jokers: The Movie,” directed by Funny or Die co-founder Chris Henchy, is absolutely the type of lowbrow, frat-boy comedy that fans love about the “Impractical Jokers” TV series. It’s the same format, with the guys using hidden cameras, as well as hidden speaking/listening devices to feed lines to one whichever guy is doing the prank, in order to make things more uncomfortable for him.

The movie is made for “Impractical Jokers” fans, not anyone looking for anything intellectual or ground-breaking. But for people who don’t know anything about “Impractical Jokers,” the movie is a pretty good introduction to the four “Impractical Jokers” stars: James “Murr” Murray, Brian “Q” Quinn, Joe Gatto, and Sal Vulcano, also known as the comedy troupe The Tenderloins. (All four of The Tenderloins, along with Henchy and Funny or Die’s Jim Ziegler and Buddy Enright, are producers of the movie.)

Murr is the group’s biggest physical daredevil and the “ladies’ man” in the movie: He gets completely naked during a boat prank, and near the end of the film, there’s a scene of him tied to the top of a small airplane as a stunt. (It’s not a stunt double.) Sal is the one who’s most likely to get the most humiliating pranks from the other guys. Q is the most sensible one of the group and is the one most likely to stop a prank if he thinks it’s headed in the wrong direction. Joe is the best improviser who’s the most likely to think quickly on his feet if a prank doesn’t go the way it was originally expected.

The movie begins with a scripted “origin story” of the “Impractical Jokers” stars’ first prank. At a Paula Abdul concert in the early 1990s, the four guys pull the fire-alarm switch, which abruptly ends the concert by sending frightened audience members heading for the exit. Abdul (who portrays herself in flashback scenes and present-day scenes) is so enraged that she gets in a physical fight with the four pranksters, including punching Sal in the throat, and she vows to get revenge on them.

Fast forward about 25 years later, and the guys are having dinner together at a restaurant, when Abdul sees them, but only recognizes them as the stars of “Impractical Jokers.” She comes over and gushes about how much of a fan she is, and the guys are relieved that she doesn’t remember them as the pranksters who ruined her concert years ago. Abdul invites them to a party she’s having in Miami, where she will also perform.

The guys are happy to accept the invitation because they think the party will be a “do-over” for them to make up for the fiasco of the previous time they were around Abdul. But there’s a problem: When they get the laminated badges that will give them access to the party, only three badges have been provided for them instead of four. Instead of asking for a fourth badge, they decide that on their road trip to Miami, they’ll do a series of pranks, and the guy who loses the most pranks will be the one who won’t get to go to the party.

So off they go on the road trip. One of their first stops is in Washington, D.C., which yields some of the best laughs in the movie. First, the guys do a prank challenge at the Lincoln Memorial, where they each have to convince strangers to approve a very inappropriate and distasteful eulogy. Each of the guys, while holding an urn said to contain someone’s ashes, separately approach visitors at a memorial monument. They ask the strangers to tell them what they think of a eulogy that they’ve written, and then read the eulogy. Each eulogy turns out to be insulting to the “dead person,” and most of the strangers approached say that the eulogy shouldn’t be read at the memorial. In the end, all but one of the guys fails this challenge.

In an even better scene, hidden cameras follow a tourist group being taken on a guide of caverns in the area. Joe then surprises the group by crawling out of a cave and pretending to be someone who had been trapped there since 1987. He’s wearing ghoulish light green makeup and alien-looking ears. And the startled and shocked expressions on the tourists’ faces are priceless.

Joe then makes up a story about being lost in the cave as a kid, when he got separated from his parents on a tour guide of the caverns. He’s wearing a T-shirt that says, “I’m the Beef” (in reference to the famous Burger King “Where’s the Beef?” ad campaign from the 1980s. He asks the tour group, “Who shot J.R.?” (in reference to the famous cliffhanger from the TV series “Dallas”), and he asks if Walter Mondale got a second term. (Mondale ran against Ronald Reagan in the 1984 U.S. presidential election and lost.) All of these jokes land best with people who know about or remember the ’80s. Based on some of the puzzled or blank expressions of the younger people in the tourist group, the jokes went right over their heads.

When the guys are in Atlanta, another highlight of the movie is a challenge where they each interview for a job with the Atlanta Hawks, and they have to act like the interviewee from hell. Joe is the funniest one in the group for this challenge, because he excuses himself to use the restroom during the interview, and then goes down to the basketball court that can be seen from the interview room, and starts playing basketball while the interviewer looks on in shock. When he comes back to the interview room, he tells the interviewer that security in the building isn’t very good because he was able to shoot hoops on the court without anyone stopping him.

Other prank challenges are hit-and-miss. One of these mixed-results challenges takes place on a private tour boat and resulted in a “win” for any of the “Impractical Jokers” guy who could convince tourists not to let the boat captain rescue someone in distress in a nearby raft. (The person “in distress” and the boat captain are really actors who are in on the prank.) This challenge was inconsistent because it had someone playing a military man in distress for part of the challenge, but then in another part of the challenge, a completely naked Murr plays the person in distress.

Another challenge that probably sounded funnier on paper than how it ended up on screen is when Murr celebrates his birthday at a strip club. While he’s getting lap dances in a private room, the blinds on a window in the room are lifted to reveal that members of his family (including his mother and underage nieces and nephews) are in the next room and watching him getting grinded on by strippers.

And in the beginning of the movie, a challenge with Sal dressed up as a shopping-center Santa Clause starts out funny when he pretends to fall asleep while a child is sitting on his lap. But then it becomes a little too mean-spirited to kids when Sal is told by the other guys to keep interrupting a little girl on his lap, and Sal “wins” if he can prevent her from telling “Santa” what her wishes are. It’s one thing to play hidden-camera pranks on adults. It’s another thing to subject kids to these pranks when they’re too young to understand what’s going on. But some parents must’ve signed release forms for their kids to be in this movie, so there you have it.

Another prank that will get mixed reactions is a roadside assistance challenge, where each guy pretends to be a stranded motorist with a broken-down car on a busy expressway, and tries to get help by flagging down cars that are passing nearby. There’s a slightly homophobic undertone to this prank, because some of the guys (namely, Joe and Murr) each try to act like a gay man to test the reactions of the people (who are all men) who stop to help. The pranksters apparently picked an area of the South that has a lot of redneck types, just to see their reactions when these locals are around a man who gives hints that they’re stereotypically gay. Murr scares one guy off when he leans over and shows that he’s wearing a purple thong. There are also double entendre jokes about gay sex to test if the good Samaritans will pick up on the jokes.

While that questionable humor might not work so well in the movie, one of the funniest scenes is when the Sal, who doesn’t like cats, gets a prank played on him by the other guys. They lock him inside a motel room with a white tiger, which is chained up but sill close enough for Sal to have a panic attack. They don’t let Sal out of the room until he agrees to say things like “I’m a bitch boy.”

When one of the “Impractical Jokers” stars is the target of a prank, it’s hard to know how much of his reaction is real or is acting. And the movie’s cameo scenes with celebrities (such as Joey Fatone and Jaden Smith, who each portray themselves) lose their luster because viewers are told that Fatone and Smith are already in on the jokes.

The enduring popularity of “Impractical Jokers” is mainly because of unscripted reactions from everyday people who are truly unsuspecting targets of harmless pranks. Those are the best parts of the TV series and the best parts of this movie. As for the movie’s filler scenes where the “Impractical Jokers” stars have to memorize lines and recite screenplay dialogue like professional actors, here’s some unsolicited advice these pranksters: “Don’t quit your day jobs.”

truTV released “Impractical Jokers: The Movie” in select U.S. cinemas on February 21, 2020.

Movie and TV Reviews

Reviews for New Movies Released February 21 – February 27, 2020

Brahms: The Boy II (Photo courtesy of STX)
The Call of the Wild (Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios)
Emma (Photo courtesy of Focus Features)
Goldie (Photo courtesy of Film Movement)
Impractical Jokers: The Movie (Photo courtesy of truTV)
Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band (Photo by Elliott Landy)
Premature (Photo courtesy of IFC Films)
Seberg (Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios)
Standing Up, Falling Down (Photo by Noah M. Rosenthal)
Viral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations (Photo courtesy of Dark Star Pictures)

Complete List of Reviews

2/1 — drama

17 Blocks — documentary

37 Seconds — drama

Aamis — drama

Advocate — documentary

After Class (formerly titled Safe Spaces) — comedy/drama

After Parkland — documentary

All I Can Say — documentary

Amazing Grace — documentary

American Woman — drama

And Then We Danced — drama

The Apollo — documentary

Ask for Jane — drama

The Assistant — drama

At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal — documentary

Bad Boys for Life — action

Banksy and the Rise of Outlaw Art — documentary

Beanpole — drama

Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) — action

Blessed Child — documentary

Blow the Man Down — drama

Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island — horror

The Boys (premiere episode) — drama

Brahms: The Boy II — horror

Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists — documentary

Buffaloed — comedy

Burning Cane — drama

The Call of the Wild (2020) — live-action/animation

Cane River — drama

Changing the Game — documentary

Circus of Books — documentary

Clementine — drama

Color Out of Space — sci-fi/horror

Come as You Are (2020)  — comedy

Come to Daddy — horror

The Cordillera of Dreams — documentary

Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words — documentary

Crown Vic — drama

CRSHD — comedy

A Day in the Life of America — documentary

Days of Rage: The Rolling Stones’ Road to Altamont — documentary

Decade of Fire — documentary

Devil’s Pie – D’Angelo — documentary

The Dog Doc — documentary

Dolitte — live-action/animation

Downhill — comedy

Dreamland — drama

Emma (2020) — comedy/drama

A Fall From Grace — drama

For They Know Not What They Do — documentary

Framing John DeLorean — documentary

Ganden: A Joyful Land — documentary

The Gasoline Thieves — drama

Gay Chorus Deep South — documentary

The Gentlemen — action

Get Gone — horror

Goldie — drama

Good Posture — comedy

Gretel & Hansel — horror

The Grudge (2020) — horror

He Dreams of Giants — documentary

Healing From Hate: Battle for the Soul of a Nation — documentary

Horse Girl — sci-fi/drama

The Host (2020) — horror

House of Hummingbird — drama

I Am Human — documentary

I Am Somebody’s Child: The Regina Louise Story — drama

I Want My MTV — documentary

I’m Gonna Make You Love Me — documentary

Impractical Jokers: The Movie — comedy

Incitement — drama

Initials SG — drama

Inna De Yard: The Soul of Jamaica — documentary

It Takes a Lunatic — documentary

Jay Myself — documentary

John Henry — action

Kill the Monsters — drama

The Kill Team (2019) — drama

The Kindness of Strangers — drama

The Last Full Measure — drama

Leftover Women — documentary

Les Misérables (2019) — drama

Like a Boss — comedy

Limerence — comedy

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice — documentary

The Lodge — horror

The Longest Wave — documentary

Los Últimos Frikis — documentary

Lost Bayou — drama

Lost Transmissions — drama

Low Tide — drama

Lucky Grandma — action

Lydia Lunch: The War Is Never Over — documentary

Mai Khoi & the Dissidents — documentary

Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound— documentary

Martha: A Picture Story — documentary

Martin Margiela: In His Own Words — documentary

Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back — documentary

Miss Americana — documentary

Mystify: Michael Hutchence — documentary

Noah Land — drama

Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin — documentary

Olympic Dreams — comedy/drama

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band — documentary

Only — drama

Ordinary Love — drama

Otherhood — comedy

Other Music — documentary

Our Time Machine — documentary

Out of Blue — drama

A Patient Man — drama

The Photograph — drama

Picture Character — documentary

The Place of No Words — drama

Plucked — documentary

Plus One — comedy

Premature — drama

The Quiet One — documentary

Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project — documentary

A Regular Woman — drama

Rewind — documentary

The Rhythm Section — action

Scheme Birds — documentary

Seahorse — documentary

Seberg — drama

See Know Evil — documentary

See You Yesterday — sci-fi/drama

The Short History of the Long Road — drama

The Show’s the Thing: The Legendary Promoters of Rock — documentary

A Simple Wedding — comedy

Slay the Dragon — documentary

The Sonata — horror

Sonic the Hedgehog — live-action/animation

Standing Up, Falling Down — comedy/drama

Stevenson Lost & Found — documentary

Stray Dolls — drama

Sublime — documentary

Swallow — drama

A Taste of Sky — documentary

The Thing About Harry  — comedy

This Is Personal — documentary

The Times of Bill Cunningham — documentary

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made  — comedy

To Kid or Not to Kid — documentary

Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts — documentary

Troop Zero — comedy

The Turning (2020) — horror

Tyson — documentary

Unbelievable (premiere episode) — drama

Underwater — sci-fi/horror

Vas-y Coupe! — documentary

Viral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations — documentary

Watson — documentary

Weathering With You — animation

What Will Become of Us — documentary

What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali — documentary

Wig — documentary

A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem — documentary

Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation — documentary

XY Chelsea — documentary

You Don’t Nomi — documentary

You Go to My Head — drama

Zombi Child — horror

Review: ‘Emma’ (2020), starring Anya Taylor-Joy

February 21, 2020

by Carla Hay

Anya Taylor-Joy in "Emma"
Anya Taylor-Joy in “Emma” (Photo courtesy of Focus Features)

“Emma” (2020)

Directed by Autumn de Wilde

Culture Representation: This comedic adapation of Jane Austen’s 1815 novel “Emma” is set in the fictional countryside town of Highbury, England, and revolves around the white upper-class main characters and some representation of their working-class servants.

Culture Clash: The story’s title character is a young woman who likes to meddle in people’s love lives as a matchmaker, and her snobbish ways about social status sometimes cause problems.

Culture Audience: This movie will appeal mostly to fans of Jane Austen novels and period movies about British culture.

Anya Taylor-Joy and Johnny Flynn in “Emma” (Photo courtesy of Focus Features)

This delightful and gorgeously filmed adaptation of Jane Austen’s 1815 novel “Emma” stays mostly faithful to the original story but spices it up a bit to appeal to modern audiences. In her feature-film debut, director Autumn de Wilde takes the comedy of “Emma” and infuses it with more impish energy that’s lustier and more vibrant than previous film and TV adaptations.

The title character of the story is Emma Woodhouse (played by Anya Taylor-Joy), a woman of privilege in her early 20s, who lives with her widowed father in the fictional countryside town of Highbury, England. Emma is a somewhat spoiled bachelorette who thinks she has such high intelligence and excellent judgment that she takes it upon herself to play matchmaker to people she deems worthy of her romance advice.

The movie takes place over the course of a year, beginning one summer and ending the following summer. Viewers know this because different seasons are introduced in bold letters, like a different chapter in a book.

One of the changes from the book that the movie makes is that it begins with Emma attending the wedding of her friend and former governess Miss Taylor, (played by Gemma Whelan) to Mr. Weston (played by Rupert Graves). (The book begins after Emma has attended the wedding.) Because Emma had introduced the Miss Taylor and Mr. Weston to each other, Emma feels that she has what it takes to play matchmaker to the unmarried people in her social circle. It’s at the wedding that viewers are introduced to most of the story’s main characters.

Emma’s father, Mr. Woodhouse (played by Bill Nighy), is a loving dad but often exasperated by Emma’s antics. He’s a hypochondriac who tries to shield himself from imaginary drafts of cold that he’s sure will cause him to get sick.

George Knightley (played by Johnny Flynn) is the handsome and cynical brother-in-law of Emma’s older sister Isabella (played by Chloe Pirrie). He thinks Emma can be an annoying meddler, but he nevertheless seems fascinated by what she does.

Mr. Elton (played by Josh O’Connor) is a social-climbing local vicar who has his eye on courting Emma, mostly because of her wealth and privilege. He’s unaware that Emma doesn’t see him has husband material.

Miss Bates (played by Miranda Hart) is a friendly, middle-aged spinster who is slightly ashamed about being unmarried at her age. She lives with her mother, Mrs. Bates (played by Myra McFadyen), who is a friend of Mr. Woodhouse.

Missing from the wedding is Mr. Weston’s son, Frank Churchill (played by Callum Turner), who has a different last name because he was adopted by his aunt, who is frequently ill. Frank chose to stay home with his aunt instead of attending his father’s wedding.

Emma, who says multiple times in the story that she has no interest in getting married, nevertheless takes it upon herself to tell other people who would be suitable spouses for them. She starts with her gullible best friend Harriet (played by Mia Goth), a slightly younger woman of unknown parentage who idolizes Emma for being more glamorous and seemingly more worldly than Harriet is. Knightley can see that Harriet will be easily manipulated by Emma, and he expresses disapproval over Emma befriending Harriet.

A local farmer named Mr. Martin (played by Connor Swindells) has asked Harriet to marry him, but Emma convinces Harriet to decline the proposal. Why? Even though Mr. Martin is kind and clearly adores Harriet, Emma thinks that Harriet deserves to marry someone who’s higher up on the social ladder. As far as Emma is concerned, Mr. Elton would be an ideal husband for Harriet, so Emma sets out to pair up Harriet and Mr. Elton, whom Emma describes as “such a good-humored man.” It’s too bad that Emma doesn’t see that his humor is really buffoonery.

Mr. Knightley occasionally stops by to visit the Woodhouses, and he warns Emma not to interfere in other people’s love lives. He thinks Mr. Elton would be a terrible match for Harriet. Mr. Knightley is right, of course, but Emma ignores his warnings. Emma begins to manipulate communications between Harriet and Mr. Elton, with the goal that they will end up together and happily married. At one point in the story, Emma and Mr. Knightley have a big argument and they stop talking to each other.

Meanwhile, a new ingenue comes on the scene named Jane Fairfax (played by  Amber Anderson), who is the orphaned niece of Miss Bates. Jane (who is close to Emma’s age) is attractive, intelligent, talented. And everyone seems to be gushing about how wonderful she is, so Emma gets jealous. As Emma complains in a catty moment, “One is very sick of the name Jane Fairfax!”

Frank Churchill, a very eligible bachelor, begins spending more time in the area. And it isn’t long before Emma has thoughts about who would make a suitable wife for him.

However, things don’t go as planned in Emma’s matchmaking schemes. A series of events (and a love triangle or two) make Emma frustrated that things aren’t going her way. Unlike most heroines of romantic stories, Emma can be very difficult, since she can be bossy, selfish and occasionally rude. However, there are moments when she redeems herself, such as when she tries to make amends for her mistakes. If you know anything about romantic comedies and don’t know anything about how “Emma” ends, you can still figure out what will happen and if she’ll fall in love.

One of the changes made in this “Emma” screenplay (written by Eleanor Catton) that’s different from the book is that it puts more heat in the characters’ sexuality, with a makeout scene that’s definitely not described in the book. Another change is Emma shows more acknowledgement of people in the working-class, such as her servants and Mr. Martin, by interacting with them more than she does in the novel.

As Emma, actress Taylor-Joy brings a little bit more of a “hot mess” attitude to the role than Gwyneth Paltrow did when she starred in 1996’s “Emma.” Whereas Paltrow’s version of Emma was the epitome of prim and proper, Taylor-Joy’s version gives the impression that she would be ready to show her legs or knickers under the right circumstances. And as Mr. Knightley, Flynn’s pouty-lipped delivery gives him a smoldering quality that Jeremy Northam’s Mr. Knightley didn’t quite have in 1996’s “Emma.”

“Emma” director de Wilde comes from a music-video background (she’s helmed several videos for rock singer Beck), and perhaps this background explains why this version of “Emma” has a snappy rhythm to the pacing, which is sort of a tribute to 1940s screwball comedies. This pacing is subtle if this is the first version of “Emma” that someone might see, but it’s more noticeable when compared to other movie and TV versions of “Emma,” which tend to be more leisurely paced.

This version of “Emma” is also pitch-perfect when it comes to its costume design (by Alexandra Byrne), production design (by Kave Quinn), art direction (by Alice Sutton) and set decoration (by Stella Fox), because everything will feel like you’ve been transported to the luxrious English estates of the era. The costume design in particular is worthy of an Oscar nomination.

“Emma” certainly won’t be everyone’s cup of tea for people who don’t like watching period pieces about stuffy British people. However, fans of Austen’s “Emma” novel will find a lot to enjoy about this memorable movie adaptation.

Focus Features released “Emma” in select U.S. cinemas on February 21, 2020.